Potential of Eucalyptus camaldulensis for agro forestry and energy plantation on problem soils
Pakistan is facing an energy and water crisis, and on the other hand, the prominent acreage of land is unsuitable for the cultivation of crops because of salinity and waterlogging. Thus, eucalyptus could be the most suited option in those soils which are currently unused. This study was conducted in Mochiwala plantation (Chak 178/JB) having normal soil and Shorkot irrigated forest plantation having saline and water-logged soil situated in district Jhang. The major objectives of the study were to explore the potential of eucalyptus species for agroforestry and energy plantation on problem soils. For this study, successive surveys were conducted to collect data from the farmers regarding the agro-forestry potential of eucalyptus. Whereas, calorific values of the wood samples were calculated through the bomb cylinder and bucket technique. Further, the thermal properties of the wood samples were also examined. The findings indicated that Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), Farash (Tamarix aphylla), Kikar (Vachellia nilotica) and Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) were the dominating species cultivated by the farmers for agroforestry purposes. About 72.5% of respondents had cultivation of these trees around the boundary of their land. Agro-forestry was significantly contributing economically to the farmers as they were getting Rs. 40000/- to Rs. 50000/- per annum from these trees in addition to major crops i.e. rice, Moong, Wheat and Corn. The highest calorific value of Eucalyptus camaldulensis is reported as 4900 K. cal/gm in normal soil, 4909 K. cal/gm in treated saline soil and 4750 K. cal/gm in treated water-logged soil. This implies that treated saline and treated waterlogged soils have strong potential for energy plantations.
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DOI: 10.33687/ijae. 010.01.4097
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